online marketing psychology

September 22, 2010

Branding 5000m Under the Sea

President Lula Das Silva of Brazil with the first oil from the subsalt Tupi oil fields off the Brazilian coast

With BP's brand lying shattered on the floor, being an oil company became a lot riskier.

And Petrobras, Brazilian oil giant, is at a crucial point in its history. One where the brand plays an important role.

The discoveries of the huge oil fields off the Brazilian coast had a huge impact on the future of the company and of Brazil. The only problem is that the oil sits deep below sea level, lower than 5000m, under a layer of salt. Exploration and production of this oil is a very new and complex process. Most technology necessary for this type of drilling still has to be developed.

And this development and exploration requires money, lots of it.

In order to get this money Petrobras is planning a new stock offering, the biggest one in business history. It could supply the company with up to $79 billion of fresh cash to develop these oil fields.

This is why they need a strong brand. Their communication focuses a lot of national pride. And there is a reason behind it. The majority shareholder is still the state of Brazil. So in a way Petrobras does equal Brazil, and huge profits can really help move the country and its people forward.

And although the destination of the money from the oil fields is still uncertain, Petrobras is a strong brand, in- and outside of Brazil.

Commercials have hit the screen to convince the Brazilian people to get in on this deal.

And if Brazilians don't come up with the cash, foreign investors will without doubt.

Although environmental concerns exist, they don't get a lot of attention.

The stock offering was delayed from July to September. This might have had something to do with the unfortunate timing of the Deeepwater Horizon accident in April.  But with possible prohibition of deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of mexico, the oil in the Brazilian soil might get more valuable.

What do you think?

Is it about having a strong business case, or does the brand indeed play a strategic role?

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